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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Queen of the Darkness (Chapter 184)      Page
  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(184) by Anne Bishop
  • As he walked to the doors, they fell into step on either side of him.

    Twilight. The whole day had passed.

    They walked across the open courtyard. Lucivar opened the gate.

    A gust of wind made something flutter, catching Saetan's attention. A scrap of cloth from a woman's gown. Hekatah's gown.

    He didn't mention it.

    "I don't have the strength right now," he said quietly. "Would you two..."

    Lucivar looked toward the south, Daemon toward the north. After a minute, their faces had the same grim, deliberately calm expression.

    "There are a few Blood," Daemon said slowly. "Not many."

    "The same," Lucivar said.

    A few. Only a few. Sweet Darkness, let them get a different answer in Kaeleer. "Let's go home."

    He felt the difference as soon as they walked through the Gate between the Realms. When they walked out of the Altar Room, Daemon and Lucivar both looked in the direction that would lead them to the First Circle—and the others.

    He turned in the opposite direction, not quite ready to deal with what was going to come. "Come with me." Reluctantly, they obeyed.

    He led them to a low-walled terrace that overlooked Riada, the closest Blood village.

    Daemon looked down at the village. Lucivar looked in the direction of the Eyrien community.

    Daemon sighed with relief. "I don't know how many people had lived there yesterday, but there are still a lot of Blood there."

    "Falonar!" Lucivar cried. He looked at them and grinned. "The whole community. They're all right. Badly shaken up, but all right."

    "Thank the Darkness," Saetan whispered. The tears came, as much from pride as grief. Prothvar had said it was a different kind of battlefield but a good one to fight on. He'd been right. Itwas a worthy battlefield. Instead of seeing more friends join the demon-dead, they had gone knowing those friends would live. Char, Dujae, Morton, Titian, Cassandra, Prothvar, Mephis, Andulvar. He would miss them. Mother Night, how he would miss them. "And the Blood shall sing to the Blood. You sang the song well, my friends. You sang it well."

    He would have to tell Lucivar and Daemon—and Surreal—about this, too. But not yet. Not now.

    He dreaded it, but he knew he couldn't hold either of them back much longer. "Come on, puppies. I'm sure the coven's going to have a few things to say about this."

    It was worse than he'd expected.

    The coven and the boyos fell all over Lucivar, who had his arms wrapped around Marian and Daemonar. Daemon they greeted with cool reserve. Except Karla, who had said, "Kiss kiss," and thenhad kissed him. And Surreal, who had given Daemon a cool stare, and said, "You look like shit, Sadi." He would have lashed out at her for that if Daemon hadn't commented dryly that her compliments were as effusive as ever—and if she hadn't grinned at the remark.

    And Tersa, who had held her son's face between her hands and looked into his eyes. "It will be all right, Daemon," she had said gently. "Trust one who sees. Itwill be all right."

    Saetan wasn't sure Daemon noticed the coolness, wasn't sure he even noticed who had greeted him and who hadn't. His eyes kept scanning the room for someone who wasn't there—someone who wasn't going to be there.

    He was trying to think of a reasonable excuse to get Daemon away from the others when Geoffrey appeared at the door. "Your presence is requested at the Dark Throne. Draca would like to see you."

    As they filed out of the room, Saetan stepped in beside Lucivar. "Stay close to your brother," he said quietly.

    "I think it would be better—"

    "Don't think, Prince, just follow orders."

    Lucivar gave him a measuring look, then moved ahead to catch up with Daemon.

    Surreal tucked her arm through his. "Lucivar's pissed?"

    "That's one way of putting it," Saetan replied dryly.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire